Day 2: Making Room for Love

Scripture: Luke 2:6-7

“6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Now the time had come for Mary to have her baby, but there was no room at the inn.  Just yesterday we talked about the long and bumpy road that she had traveled and how uncomfortable and exhausted Mary must have been and now, of all things, there was no room available to them anywhere. Seriously?  They had traveled all this way and now no room! No room for Mary; no room for Joseph, no room for Jesus!

What would you have done in this situation?  Would you have dropped your bags in front of the door to an inn and yelled; “I’m not leaving until somebody opens this door”!  Or, maybe you would have tried to negotiate with another guest to share their space, after all, how much room could two people and a baby take?  Or would you have been like Mary and Joseph and made lemonade out of the lemons handed to you that evening. Could you have looked at a feeding trough and said, “Looks like a crib to me!”?

But what if you had been the innkeeper?  What would you have done, if standing before you were a very pregnant woman and her husband who needed a place to sleep?  Would you have felt bad about it, but still closed the door, because “first come, first served” … or would you have made room?

It is Christmas Eve.  How have you made room for Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus today?  How about this week?  Maybe you’ve slowed down long enough to read these devotions, which is awesome, but have you made time and made a space for Jesus in other areas of your life?  Have your thoughts drifted to the gift Jesus was to this world as you shopped for gifts?  Have you given to others in need out of love for Jesus?  Have you treasured the story of a Savior born in a stable or are your thoughts more about the treasures you will receive under the Christmas tree?

Remember that on December 26th Christmas will be over. You will have lots of new stuff, stuff that one day you will outgrow, or break, or simply forget about, but will you have a strong relationship with Jesus?  That relationship is the only thing in heaven or on earth that will last. Don’t confuse the temporary happiness that you have in things like a new bike, with the true joy of knowing and growing in Christ.

Yes, be grateful for what you receive! Have fun with your new stuff; just make sure that beyond the gifts, that you make room for love this Christmas. Stop and consider the love that went into making your Christmas wishes would come true. Show your love and gratitude to others but especially to God for the indescribable gift of love that came in the package of a little baby at Christmas.

Prayer:  God of Love, help me to slow down and show love today; love for my family, love for my friends, love for my enemy and love for you.  Help my love for others to reflect your love for me.  Amen

Activity:  Talk to your parent or caregiver about something that you love about them and how you see or feel Jesus in their lives. Take some slips of paper and each person write one thing that they are grateful to Jesus for this Christmas. Put those slips of paper with the nativity at your house, remembering that all good things are a gift from above.

Challenge: As we prepare for Christmas morning don’t get too wrapped up in the details, continue to take time to focus on being intentional and spend time with family.